Friday, November 7, 2008

I Love Paper

November 7, 2008

I was thinking about paper this morning. I love the feel of paper. I love to draw on paper. I love to read things on paper.

What got me thinking about paper was a segment NPR's StoryCorps: Recording America played on this mornings show. StoryCorps brought their mobile recording studio to the home of oral historian Studs Terkel and recorded him telling a story about his love of the sound of the human voice. He passed away on October 31st and NPR has been honoring his memory over the past few weeks.

As I listened to him speak I was struck by how well he put together his story. I started thinking about the art of storytelling and how much I love all its forms. I love to tell stories and I love to listen to them. I love to see them acted out and I love to read them. I especially love the many ways a story can start and when I want to tell someone a story I will first try to think of the best way to introduce that particular story.

Then I started thinking about the art of communicating – and the different ways that I communicate with others. It suddenly hit me how much I really like to express myself in the written word. Not so much in a creative way, but rather in a communicative sense. I much prefer to write out what I need to say to someone - so that I can express whatever it is in its entirety and think about it to make sure I got it all right. I think I do a much better job expressing myself in writing then I do verbally. I prefer to ask questions, give instructions, and deliver messages in writing. You get to make your entire point without worrying about leaving something important out. I also like how technology has added a new layer to the art of communicating – how you can continue a thread of banter back and forth with someone throughout the day.

As much as I like that dynamic (and to me – safe) enhancement that technology has brought to the way I communicate, I don’t see myself fully embracing electronic devices such as electronic calendars like palm pilot. I love my old fashion daily planner – with one month displayed over two side by side pages of paper – contained in a leather jacket. I love writing my appointments in it with pencil only. Nor could I read a book by any electronic means such as an eBook or using a Kindle.

Which then got me to thinking about Books. I love to read. I love books. I love the tactile experience of books. I love the hardcover of a book and love to feel it with my fingertips. I love to open a book and feel the paper within. Paper. Paper in journals, sketch books. Watercolor paper pressed in blocks. Bristol. Ready and waiting for you to make a mark in pencil or brush. Thick paper - textured or smooth.

I love paper.